PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (AP) — The British Open returns to Royal Portrush on July 18-21 for the first time since 1951, the only other time golf’s oldest championship has been held outside Scotland or England.
Max Faulkner won his only major on a rainy final day in Northern Ireland.
To mark the return, the AP is reprinting this story about the conclusion of the 80th British Open. It first appeared on July 6, 1951.
PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland (AP) — Methodical Max Faulkner, a par-wrecking Englishman who spent one winter milking cows to strengthen his golfing hands, won the British Open Championship today in a dramatic rain-soaked finish.
Playing sub-par for every round except the last, Faulkner captured the 72-hole event with a score of 285 — highest since 1937 — and two strokes better than his closest pursuer.
But there were some breathless moments after Max finished, for handsome little Antonio Cerda of the Argentine was scorching the Royal Portrush course and it appeared for a time as if the South American would get home with a tie and force a playoff tomorrow.
For 15 holes, Cerda was right on the beam — until he slashed a drive up against some steps straddling a barbed wire fence along the 16th fairway. That did it, for it took Antonio four strokes to reach the green and his chances slithered away with a gloomy 6 in the drizzling rain. Cerda finished with a 287 for second place. Faulkner, who blasted a 2-under-par 70 in the morning round, had a 74 in the afternoon. Cerda shot a 71, then a 70.
Frank Stranahan of Toledo, Ohio, one of two Americans left in the tournament, wound up as the leading amateur in the Open for the third straight time, with a total of 295. His final-round 73 gave him a tie for 12th place with two professionals, Dick Burton of England and Dai Rees of Wales.
Another Ohioan, Sgt. Charles (Chuck) Rotar, onetime Canton pro now with the United States Army in Germany, got a 75 and a total of 303.
Charley Ward, a little British Ryder Cup player, clung to the leaders’ flanks with a scorching 68 on his last round, and got third with a total of 290.
Fred Daly, a curly-haired Irishman who won the Open in 1947, and big Jimmy Adams of Scotland, who led on the first day, tied for fourth with 292s.
The great Bobby Locke, seeking his third straight British Open crown, lost his famous putting skill and wound up with a 293 in a tie for sixth with four others.
In his morning round, Bobby missed nine putts of six feet or less, and repeated almost that many in the afternoon as he slow-poked his way around in three and one half hours per trip — backing up the field behind him. Locke had a pair of 74s today, to match his score of yesterday. Only on the first day was he able to break par, with a 71.
Faulkner, a British Ryder Cup star, had stayed out of the wet traps throughout the championship until this afternoon. But he dropped into three of them on the home nine, and gave Cerda the chink he was hunting in Max’s armor.
With Max in, Cerda needed a 68 to force the playoff and he was well on his way to getting it. With only three holes to go, he needed to finish in 4s. That’s when the steps interfered and he got a 6 on the par-4 16th hole.